My son Matt and I have had many good outdoor experiences. He decided he wanted to go do a peak and his first overnight backpack trip this fall before the snow started to fly. Matt is 11 years old.
We picked Leavitt due to its ease of access, short approach, yet good elevation and lakes.
Strange clouds on the way up to the pass. Didn't look like bad weather but not clear skies either.
After stopping at the Ranger Station at Pinecrest to pick up our permit, we arrived at the parking area at approx. 8:00 am on Saturday morning. There were no other cars. We did last minute packing of the backpacks and headed up Blue Canyon. Matt's pack weighed in at about 18 lbs; I had the rest.
Nice hike up the canyon, cool and patches of snow still in place on the northern slopes. We were headed for Blue Canyon Lake.
Matt was feeling the elevation a bit so we went easy as we knew we had a long day. We got to the lake in about an hour. We set up camp at Blue Canyon Lake and got our day packs together for the hike up to Leavitt. It was cool, very windy, and the sun was in and out through fast moving low clouds.
We headed pretty much due east from the lake up and over a short ridge, dodging some snow banks. We got to the top of the ridge and were treated to a great view of the lake, our camp, and Sonora Peak and other areas north of the pass.
We continued along the ridge, winding around to Deadman Lake. What a picture! The turquoise blue water was classic! The wind was whipping small whitecaps across the surface and the sun would appear and light up the water. Very cool.
Up the loose slope to the east of the lake; the hardest part of the hike. We got on top of that soon enough and saw the rest of the way. The wind was blowing real hard now and my son and I had to hunker down a few times to wait it out. The journey along the ridges was a bit exposed in some places and with the wind it made it very exciting. Matt did great!
We stopped a few times to enjoy the view and pull our hoods up. It was very cool, bordering on cold, and very, very windy on the ridgelines. Up we went, being careful at places close to the edges.
Before we knew it, we were on the summit ridge, which is very open and at an easy angle. Super windy! Matt got blown over a few times. We made the summit after about 2 hrs. from Blue Canyon Lake. Matt's first summit! We signed the register and took a few pictures then headed down. It was getting even windier and cooling off.
No worries on the way down; reverse the moves. As usual it took no time to descend. We were back in camp by 2:30 pm.
We bummed around camp and explored the rest of the day. As soon as the sun went down it cooled off fast so we got in the tent. Saturday night it got down to 14 degrees!
Broke camp and hiked out Sunday morning. A great overnight, a great time with my son, and many more to come.
I would recommend this hike as a day hike or an easy overnighter for the first timers. Not the most spectacular summit but a very nice one indeed.
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